School district denies transgender teen ‘homecoming king’ victory

Oak Reed

Oak Reed WOOD-TV

Students at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon, MI, say administrators have denied the homecoming king throne from its rightful winner — a transgender senior.


Oak Reed

Classmates believe the crown belongs to Oak Reed, 17, who was born as Oakleigh Marie but who now goes as Oakleigh Marshall (or “Oak” for short). According to students, the administration gave “official confirmation that Oak did receive the most votes by a landslide,” but stopped counting his votes because he is officially enrolled as a female.

Assistant Superintendent Todd Geerlings told WOOD-TV, “The ballots gave two choices — vote for a boy for king and a girl for queen.”

But friends have started a Facebook page titled, “Oak is My King,” and have accused the school district of promoting transphobia.

“Our school has made it clear that they don’t want a transgendered student to represent Mona Shores. As students, we must stand up to assert the rights of Oak, and transgendered students everywhere,” reads the page’s mission statement.

School officials deny Reed had the winning number of votes.

“We just stopped (counting) when we noticed an ineligible person was running for that category,” said Mona Shores Principal Jennifer Bustard.

Reed said his gender struggle has been life-long. After years of counseling, he plans a sex change operation when he turns 18.

Students believe the decision violates the school district’s non-discrimination policy, and the ACLU of Michigan has expressed interest in Reed’s case.

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